Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be officially handing over the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)-manufactured Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) on November 19. He will also lay the foundation stone for the first project for the propulsion for anti-tank guided missiles by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) at Jhansi. The BDL project is pegged at a whopping Rs 400 crore and will provide a boost to local manufacturing as well as help generate employment for the skilled workforce in the area.
The Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division of HAL was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in February 2020. A 5.5-tonne class chopper, the LCH is an advanced version of the Advanced Light Helicopter and has achieved the feat of landing at Siachen glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, with a 500 kg payload.
“PM Narendra Modi will hand over the DRDO-developed advanced electronic warfare suite for the Indian Navy which will be put on its modern warships including the INS Vikrant,” Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said on Monday.
The two developments may mark significant progress in the direction of the government’s flagship Make in India (Aatmanirbhar Bharat) programme that aims at promoting the procurement of indigenous platforms for defence forces.